Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies world over are taking significant strides to find a viable vaccine for treating COVID-19 patients.
Scientists have paced up their research to identify and test possible vaccines for SARS CoV-2 the virus that causes COVID-19 amid increasing cases by the day.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 150,000 more cases came to light in a single day on June 22, taking the global tally past the nine million mark.
Meanwhile, some Indian pharma firms have launched antiviral drugs in the Indian market.
Here are the latest updates on COVID-19 vaccine, drug:
Herbal medicine company Patanjali Ayurved, on Tuesday, launched 'Coronil' and 'Swasari', its Ayurvedic medicines claiming to treat COVID-19 patients within 14 days. "We conducted a clinical case study and clinical controlled trial and found 69 per cent of patients recovered in 3 days and 100 patients recovered in 7 days," Baba Ramdev said at the medicine's launch in Haridwar.
He also highlighted that all required approvals for conducting vaccine trials on patients had been taken from competent authorities. The Corona kit, containing both medicines, will be sold for Rs 545, said Acharya Balkrishna, chief executive officer of Patanjali.
Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has become the first Indian company to launch an antiviral drug-Favipiravir under brand name FabiFlu, to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. The drug will be sold at retail chemist outlets as well as hospitals across India after the company secured drug regulator Drug Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval to manufacture and market Favipiravir in India. The drug is priced at Rs 103 per tablet and Rs 3,500 for a pack of 34 tablets.
India's Drug Regulator on June 20 gave permission to Hetero and Cipla to manufacture and market antiviral drug Remdesivir for "restricted emergency use" on hospitalised COVID-19 patients. This comes after the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) granted domestic firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals permission to manufacture and market Favipiravir for "restricted emergency use" in mild to moderate cases. Hetero's generic version of Remdesivir will be marketed under the brand name 'COVIFOR' in India, as per the company's press release.
Germany and partner countries in the European Union recently pledged funds for the production of an experimental vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. Britain and the United States had previously made commitments to secure hundreds of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is based on the so-called viral vector technology.
British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, in partnership with Chinese company Clover Biopharmaceuticals, has started human tests. Initial results from the study are likely to come out in August, following which a larger efficacy trial is expected to begin later in 2020, Glaxo said in a statement.
Biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms comprising Moderna Inc, and AstraZeneca, have been accelerating the pace of their production, promising millions of supplies of their experimental vaccines before the year-end. Last month, global drug firm Pfizer said that a vaccine to treat COVID-19 patients could be ready by October-end.
Brazil-based Instituto Butantan has signed a deal with Chinese biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac to produce an experimental coronavirus vaccine. Sinovac recently announced "positive preliminary" results from phase I and II clinical trials for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoronaVac, saying it can induce a positive immune response.
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